I’m going to be presenting a groundbreaking and innovative tzedakah curriculum – the first-ever school curriculum released by American Jewish World Service – called Where Do You Give? that will change the way you — and all of us — think about giving in the 21st century. However, this won’t just be a curriculum presentation. Through this curriculum you’ll learn how to empower the next generation of young people to use the power of tzedakah to have a deep and meaningful impact in the world. Also, all participants will gain invaluable skills in integrating social media and interactive online tools with Jewish sacred texts and history in new and exciting ways. You’ll also be able to experience the curriculum first-hand, learn how to build a culture of tzedakah in your community and network with other educators around how to adapt our resources for your specific needs. You will also be able to — wait, I don’t want to give it all away!
2. Has Tzedekah changed?
Tzedakah hasn’t changed. The sacred commandment to give of your resources in order to help those less fortunate and to create a more just and righteous world hasn’t change and will never change. What has changed, however, is where we give tzedakah, how we give tzedakah, and how we make those decisions. Today, we’re more likely to give by writing a check or making an online donation than by collecting coins in a tzedakah box. Today, what denotes our “community” — and therefore those we must care for — can mean everyone from our neighbors in a five-block radius to our camp friends who live across the country to ethnic tribes fighting for their rights in Cambodia. Today, we have to think differently about who we’re obligated to in our increasingly interconnected, global and technologically accelerated world. This brings on a whole slew of new questions and challenges. But if we want to fulfill the mitzvah of giving tzedakah in a thoughtful and impactful way, then we must address them.
3. What are you most looking forward to at YouthCon?
This is my first YouthCon, so I’m excited about everything! My goal is to meet as many people as possible, since I know the rooms will be filled with enthusiastic, bright and passionate educators who are all here because they want to create a better world by inspiring the future leaders of it. If that sounds like you (and it should for all of you), then I’m really excited to connect with and learn from you. See you soon!
Sasha Feldstein works in the education and community engagement department at American Jewish World Service and manages “Where Do You Give? Reimagining Tzedakah for the 21st Century.” Prior to working at AJWS, she participated in AJWS’s Volunteer Corps by living and volunteering with the Heshima Kenya organization in Nairobi. She is also an alumna of AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps. She is from Los Angeles, CA.